Foodie Friday: Eating and Drinking Well in the Alamo City

by Hannah Buettner on February 3, 2023 in Food+Drink,

The next time you come to San Antonio, come hungry. The city’s culinary footprint is much larger than what’s booming at the very popular Pearl Brewery. Modern menus and knockout seasonal drinks are just around the corner, no matter where you find yourself.

San Antonio has unbeatable Tex Mex. But for a city with an almost singular gastronomic calling card, the River City has so much more to offer than its local forte. Chefs like Elizabeth Johnson of Pharm Table are creating inspired dishes that are stunning in their own right, while offering healing benefits to its diners; Chef Dobbertin is creating space for female Asian-American chefs to shine at Best Quality Daughter. And sometimes, you just need good old fashioned diner food. No matter what you’re looking for, you can find a little taste of everything here. 

Pharm Table offers nourishing food in Southtown. Photo Marty Morris.

Feel Good at Pharm Table

Sophisticated without being intimidating, the menu at Pharm Table boasts plant-forward dishes that will make you think twice about eating your veggies. 

Lush salads and warming entrees are packed full of locally sourced ingredients, sometimes pulled straight from the head chef’s garden, and an impressive beverage lineup includes everything from specialty herbal teas to zero proof cocktails to an unmistakably Texan mesquite bean latte. 

No matter if you join them for brunch, lunch, or dinner, you can feel good about eating deliciously healthy with attentive service.

Catch the sunset on the patio at The Moon’s Daughters. Photo courtesy The Moon’s Daughters.

Live Upscale Downtown at The Moon’s Daughters

If your idea of a good time is a perfectly mixed cocktail with a killer view, look no further. You came for the bar, but you’re staying for the bar-food-meets-mezze menu that truly elevates the evening. You have options here, so start small with calamari or tabbouleh, or fill up on hearty burgers and perfectly cooked sea bass.

If you’re not already bewitched, catch their monthly Cosmic Night for a special cocktail menu, a live DJ, and Tarot Readings, hosted every night of the full moon.

Expertly crafted cocktails at The Moon’s Daughters. Photo courtesy The Moon’s Daughters.

Reservations are highly encouraged, and you’ll want to time it in order to catch the sunset on the balcony with a 180 degree view of the downtown skyline. Plus – the outdoor mural makes an amazing backdrop for your next instagram post.

Crispy Lao Babyback Ribs at Best Quality Daughter. Photo courtesy Best Quality Daughter.

Dine Pretty in Pink at Best Quality Daughter

Found all the best items at the weekend farmers market? Just steps away from the chaos of the Pearl is your next favorite hot spot. Located in the historic Mueller House, the bright pink interior is the least interesting thing about dining here.

Your favorite takeout mainstays like cashew chicken and potstickers get a huge upgrade at Best Quality Daughter, with family style mains that beg you to start with an appetizer and split with a friend. You’ll discover new dimension to Asian-American cuisine here, with boozy boba teas, and huge helpings of noodle dishes, and vegan and gluten free options that might be better than the originals. 

A small but mighty dessert selection and rotating cocktail menu will excite you to try it all.

Serving up hot breakfast at Magnolia Pancake Haus. Photo John Davenport / San Antonio Express-News.

Indulge Early at Magnolia Pancake Haus

Nothing starts your day off better than a good breakfast, and there’s no better breakfast than what they’re serving up at the Magnolia Pancake Haus. With three locations around the city, you’re only a short drive away from a hot breakfast no matter where you are. 

Anyone who loves a sweet breakfast will be in heaven here, with specialty French toasts and tons of seasonal pancake options. For savory lovers, the Haus has hearty omelets, hashes, benedicts, and everything else you can think of before your morning cup of joe has kicked in. 

The cozy dining room and fast moving kitchen make for a homey, energizing morning environment, although the line can get long, so definitely arrive early. My final word of advice is to skip dinner the night before – you’ll want the extra room.


Cover Photo Marty Morris

Hannah Buettner is an occasional contributor for TLM when she’s not heads down in her day job as a financial services professional. She enjoys creating excessive travel itineraries, collecting used titles for her home library, and cooking good ol’ fashioned southern comfort food for her loved ones.